Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Our Classics -

AJune 1983


74,361 £0

fter a mere 21 years of dither­ing, work has fi­nally started on un­do­ing the dam­age van­dals did to my beloved Cam­bridge. The venue is the busy premises of Aldridge Trim­ming, which is highly re­garded around the world and em­ploys com­put­ers to make pan­els and cut­ting ma­te­ri­als.

Ren­o­vat­ing the Cam­bridge is thus all in a day’s work. It was de­cided that the slash­ing of the front seats was too se­vere to do any­thing other than re­place the fac­ings with new pleated leather in a match­ing colour.

The first task in­volves re­move the old cov­er­ing on the seat back. Af­ter a care­ful se­ries of light and heavy tugs, the seat comes off in one piece, com­plete with the vynide on the side. The cot­ton wad­ding that goes un­der the leather was also good enough to re­use.

If you know what you’re do­ing, the seat squabs un­clip and pull off with­out rip­ping. Un­der th­ese is the orig­i­nal foam, which has sur­vived re­mark­ably well. It was amaz­ing to see the 55-year-old red crayon mark­ings on this in strange BMC code, ob­vi­ously in­struc­tions from when the seats were orig­i­nally put to­gether.

Would you be­lieve that un­der the leather and wad­ding on the back seats is horse­hair? This was the case in many cars well into the 1980s, in­clud­ing Porsches. Yup­pies would surely have dropped their paving slab-sized mo­bile phones into the cham­pagne foun­tain had they know that their Guards Red 911 ac­tu­ally con­tained bits of old carthorse! Al­though this hair can de­te­ri­o­rate to the point where the seats could feel un­com­fort­able enough to con­vince you that a few hooves and horse­shoes had also been thrown into the mix, it was in first class con­di­tion on the Cam­bridge.

Nurs­ing the seats back to health was no prob­lem for Al­bridge’s spe­cial­ists and I’m look­ing for­ward to get­ting the Cam­bridge back home once all the work’s fin­ished.

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